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Ed Balls shocking interview on Daily Politics 25/10./12


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Old 26-10-2012, 17:15
WindWalker
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Ed Balls when eventually admitting there was a SD had the nerve to say it was covered by investment. Yes you can run a deficit to invest in for example infrastructure projects in the economy but the point is that borrowing to fund such an investment should bring you a return. i.e. increased tax revenues which more than cover the deficit you ran to fund the investment otherwise it was a pointless investment. The whole idea of a SD is it is one that persists over time and therefore takes into account the return on investments funded through borrowing and running a temporary deficit to do so.

Balls is still in denial and is not credible on the economy, he's like a junkie and his fix in that he seems addicted to spending and borrowing.
So how high is the structural deficit now then? If it's a measure against theoretical output, it must be as bad or worse than before?
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Old 26-10-2012, 17:28
David Tee
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The structural deficit is being quoted as 72bn but the actual deficit (net "lending/borrowing") is still only around 39 bn. They're using the notional figure of the "output gap" to calculate the structural deficit. It's in the latest IMF figures from the link I gave.
Thanks.

More on the IMF and the Output Gap here. By the sounds of things it's central to the entire way the IMF operates.
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Old 27-10-2012, 01:13
andykn
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Thanks.

More on the IMF and the Output Gap here. By the sounds of things it's central to the entire way the IMF operates.
Yes, it makes sense in the context flagpole explained, but that doesn't fit at all with the Tories promise to eliminate it by 2015.
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Old 27-10-2012, 01:24
queserasera
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Yes, it makes sense in the context flagpole explained, but that doesn't fit at all with the Tories promise to eliminate it by 2015.
They no longer promise that, and haven't done for quite a while
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Old 27-10-2012, 02:55
allafix
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I love the way "billion" is chucked about as if it's small change. "Ha! Nobody realised there was a 73B deficit when we went on our spending spree - how could we possibly have known?" is Ball's angle.

Anybody actually have any idea how much 73 billion is? How long it would take to count?
Surely that depends how many people are doing the counting. This is a national deficit figure, so having one person count it seems rather silly. How long would it take you to count your annual salary? Probably a lot longer than it would take the population of the UK to count the deficit.

What the deficit was in 2007 is not at all relevant to current economic policy.. It's only important to people here trying to attack Ed Balls. Why do his opponents spend so much time attacking him? Because he's a very effective politician.
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:32
Majlis
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Why do his opponents spend so much time attacking him? Because he's a very effective politician.
Did you not see the interview that this thread is based on? - a spectacular car crash that makes one wish for the return of somebody of economic competence to be shadow chancellor.

Even Alan Johnson was better.
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:38
allafix
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Fantastic TV from Brillo -again- this time tearing apart LieBore's Blinky Balls. It's another reason why LieBore cannot be trusted ever again with government. LieBore's version of 'reality' would make Salvadore Dali think twice about attempting to paint it.
Grow up FFS.

Unemployment down
Deficit down
Interest Rates down

Growth up
Private Job creation up
Tax threshold up

Council tax frozen
TV Licence frozen
Fuel Duty frozen
Unemployment down yet still higher than when this government took over.
Deficit down Mostly by cutting infrastructure and jobs, not current spending. So growth suffers, and the economy suffers.
Interest Rates down exactly the same as they were before the election: 0.5%.
Growth up One good quarter after two years of flatlining and recession. A triumph (of spin).
Private Job creation up True, but Cameron keeps counting public sector jobs reclassified as private sector in his figures.
Tax threshold up and higher rate tax break point reduced to pay for it, so more people are paying 40% tax on quite modest salaries.
Council tax frozen but because central grants are reducing, this means deep cuts in local services.
TV Licence frozen For just two years
Fuel Duty frozen A knee jerk reaction to public and haulier pressure, not policy.

*Over with the labour side:
Moaning Up
Trust on the economy Down
Ed Balls doesn't know how much they were borrowing
Ed Miliband doesn't know how much he's worth
Ed Miliband thinks a cheque would be written to "Every Millionaire" in the country
No signs of telling us where they would cut
They are the opposition. They aren't an alternative government, their function is to criticise and scrutinise government. The Tories were just the same in opposition, no policies.

Now the current Government would have every right to be out in the media saying what a great job their doing but their not. Their keeping calm while the media rip Ed Balls apart who seems to have been thrown to the sharks today on his own. No one likes the cuts but the alternative is to turn the borrowing tap on which is not going to happen under this Government or Labour.

The cuts will not be reversed until we're in a better financial state so people can moan and complain all they want about Government policies. You can either say how much of a bad job the Government is doing or you can feel a bit more confident about the good economic figures.

I can only talk positively about a Government that does something for me and I can tell you from my pocket that the frozen council tax & tv licence & higher tax threshold that this Government has enforced has done more for me than the previous one. I suppose people can only judge the Government on what it does for them but then you have the other kind of people who no matter what the Government does, will not like them because their not Labour (and Vice Versa) which is quite sad I feel.
You're joking of course. The government spends a great deal of time telling us all how wonderfully well its doing. Except the austerity policy, which was meant to cut waste, has cut infrastructure and capital spending, leaving current spending largely untouched. So the deficit may be down, but growth is stagnant at best.
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:44
allafix
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Did you not see the interview that this thread is based on? - a spectacular car crash that makes one wish for the return of somebody of economic competence to be shadow chancellor.
Do you recall the car crash interview Osborne gave a while back? The same answer to every question. It was a big youtube hit.
Even Alan Johnson was better.
Balls at least knows something of economics, Johnson freely admitted he didn't and Osborne regularly reminds us by his actions he has even less of a clue.
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:48
Majlis
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Do you recall the car crash interview Osborne gave a while back? The same answer to every question. It was a big youtube hit.
So Ed Balls is supposedly a very effective politician because Osborne is the same ? - that is a daft argument.

Balls at least knows something of economics, Johnson freely admitted he didn't
That is the point - he doesn't. The whole thread is based on him either not knowing we were running a structural deficit or knowing and lying about it.

At least Johnson was an honest man and admitted his limitations - you cannot say the same about Balls.
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:57
allafix
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So Ed Balls is supposedly a very effective politician because Osborne is the same ? - that is a daft argument.
No, I was pointing out they all do bad interviews on occasion. One bad interview does not make him a bad shadow chancellor.

That is the point - he doesn't. The whole thread is based on him either not knowing we were running a structural deficit or knowing and lying about it.

At least Johnson was an honest man and admitted his limitations - you cannot say the same about Balls.
Most of the thread is about what a structural deficit is or isn't. Even economists can't agree on what structural deficit is or whether it really means anything at all.

Johnson is indeed an honest man. It wan't his fault he was given the brief, and I don't suppose he really wanted it, but then again which politician would turn it down? I don't think Balls is as limited as those who like to run him down suggest.
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Old 27-10-2012, 04:17
Majlis
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No, I was pointing out they all do bad interviews on occasion. One bad interview does not make him a bad shadow chancellor.
True - his record does that.


Most of the thread is about what a structural deficit is or isn't. Even economists can't agree on what structural deficit is or whether it really means anything at all.
Well as the IMF, OECD, EU, OBR and the Treasury all measure Structural Deficits, the fact that Balls thinks we were not running one in the years before the crisis tells us all we need to know about his supposed Economic competence.
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Old 27-10-2012, 04:36
ecco66
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True - his record does that.




Well as the IMF, OECD, EU, OBR and the Treasury all measure Structural Deficits, the fact that Balls thinks we were not running one in the years before the crisis tells us all we need to know about his supposed Economic competence.
Being on a different time zone makes posting/reading quite interesting!

As far as I am aware, it's only those of the David Blanchflower school of economics who do not believe in structural deficits. Debt addicts with no comprehension as to how that bodes for the future. Mr Balls is talking nonsense when he claims that spending more will boost the economy; borrowing more and recycling it is how we got ourselves in this mess in the first place.

Look at Australasia, a return to surplus is seen as a pre-requisite.
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Old 27-10-2012, 09:22
andykn
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They no longer promise that, and haven't done for quite a while
But if you look at flagpole's explanation of the IMF's structural deficit figure they would never have stood a chance, they would have had to get rid of the actual deficit and more besides.
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Old 27-10-2012, 09:52
Annsyre
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Iplayer will be showing this episode soon but is so worth the watch for the Ed Balls Interview......it was road crash tv with Ed Balls' 'two heavies' (according to Andrew Neil) saying he had to go elsewhere......i think they just wanted it to end! (shows how politicians have people in the background pulling stings to influence the tv companies)!.

If there is any reason not to trust Ed Balls and indeed Labour on the economy again this is it......he in around about way claimed incompetence for not knowing we were in a stuctural deficit by the tune of 72billion in 2007.......me being kind he gets a bit mixed up!.........

So this is why Labour kept spend spend spending because when they were they didnt realise there was a deficit ......says it all really..........

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...cs_25_10_2012/

a short version has just appeared on youtube (watch full interview when its on iplayer though!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I40hCvYJl04
The best bit was when Balls trotted out the mantra of millionaires getting huge tax breaks and Neil got him to say the actual words "People who earn a million" will get tax rebates and Neil pointed out how few of these there are.

Why did Balls have the minders with him anyway?
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Old 27-10-2012, 17:44
Styker
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How much credence should we give this as its Phillip Hammond who has been accusing Labour of that as well as Liam Fox before him.

Hammond was the guy who set up the current rail franchise process wasn't he? Look how that has ended up!

As for Fox, need I go on about him?
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Old 27-10-2012, 17:48
David Tee
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How much credence should we give this as its Phillip Hammond who has been accusing Labour of that as well as Liam Fox before him.

Hammond was the guy who set up the current rail franchise process wasn't he? Look how that has ended up!

As for Fox, need I go on about him?
They're referring to figures issued by the IMF. Do you think the IMF made them up? Maybe if Brown had got the top job the figures might have been different?
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Old 27-10-2012, 17:50
Majlis
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Maybe if Brown had got the top job the figures might have been different?
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Old 27-10-2012, 18:01
Styker
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They're referring to figures issued by the IMF. Do you think the IMF made them up? Maybe if Brown had got the top job the figures might have been different?
Oh so now the IMF are microscoping our defence bugets are they? Why? I wonder how long it will be before Nigel Farage jumps onto that one as well hey?

I can just see him now moaning inacurately too about "75 per of our laws coming from Brussells, the rest from the IMF"! Though he may be onto something if he mentioned the credit agencies who Cameron has created such a monster out of!
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Old 27-10-2012, 18:23
Majlis
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Oh so now the IMF are microscoping our defence bugets are they? Why? I wonder how long it will be before Nigel Farage jumps onto that one as well hey?
sorry but you have lost me - WTF has this thread got to do with Nigel Farage?
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Old 27-10-2012, 23:57
allafix
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True - his record does that.
Same goes for Osborne. His rash and ill thought out attempts to cut the deficit while the economy was in recession have been disastrous.

Well as the IMF, OECD, EU, OBR and the Treasury all measure Structural Deficits, the fact that Balls thinks we were not running one in the years before the crisis tells us all we need to know about his supposed Economic competence.
When it comes to eliminating the deficit how can you possibly target structural deficit from non structural deficit. So as a concept it is not practical or helpful, except to politicians who can justify running a deficit by claiming it is not structural and so acceptable.

Bodies can attempt to measure (or rather estimate) what structural deficit is, but if the political aim is to balance the budget, it will be the headline deficit which will count, not some cyclically adjusted theoretical figure.

The UK has had a structural deficit for most the period since the BoE was founded. It's not often we have run a surplus. So if we had a structural deficit in 2007 how was that different to any other time in out economic history? The only reason it's being mentioned now is as a stick to beat Ed Balls with. I'd say that was more about politics than economics.
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Old 28-10-2012, 00:29
zx50
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Unemployment down
Deficit down
Interest Rates down

Growth up
Private Job creation up
Tax threshold up

Council tax frozen
TV Licence frozen
Fuel Duty frozen

*Over with the labour side:
Moaning Up
Trust on the economy Down
Ed Balls doesn't know how much they were borrowing
Ed Miliband doesn't know how much he's worth
Ed Miliband thinks a cheque would be written to "Every Millionaire" in the country
No signs of telling us where they would cut

Now the current Government would have every right to be out in the media saying what a great job their doing but their not. Their keeping calm while the media rip Ed Balls apart who seems to have been thrown to the sharks today on his own. No one likes the cuts but the alternative is to turn the borrowing tap on which is not going to happen under this Government or Labour.

The cuts will not be reversed until we're in a better financial state so people can moan and complain all they want about Government policies. You can either say how much of a bad job the Government is doing or you can feel a bit more confident about the good economic figures.

I can only talk positively about a Government that does something for me and I can tell you from my pocket that the frozen council tax & tv licence & higher tax threshold that this Government has enforced has done more for me than the previous one. I suppose people can only judge the Government on what it does for them but then you have the other kind of people who no matter what the Government does, will not like them because their not Labour (and Vice Versa) which is quite sad I feel.
Hardly at all up here. The Conservatives are slowly destroying this nation.
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Old 28-10-2012, 00:50
Cythna
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Looking the figures up, it seems that the defecit in 2007 was 36 billion. This is a large figure certainly, but still less than some of the deficits that the Conservatives had run in the past. Labour had also been in fairly substantial surplus during the early years of the new millenium. What did for them were the years 2008/9, when the banks were bailed out, and the deficit ran to over 150 billion.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datab...zoomed-picture
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Old 28-10-2012, 00:51
andykn
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They're referring to figures issued by the IMF. Do you think the IMF made them up?
Well, they sort of did, they do seem to be very different to the figures in 2010, one lot was "made up".
Maybe if Brown had got the top job the figures might have been different?
Ouch!
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Old 28-10-2012, 01:18
Majlis
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When it comes to eliminating the deficit how can you possibly target structural deficit from non structural deficit. So as a concept it is not practical or helpful, except to politicians who can justify running a deficit by claiming it is not structural and so acceptable.
Well that would depend on whether you were of the Keynesian school or the Krugman school - Keynes certainly would not have approved running a structural deficit during boom times.

But this is getting away from the incompetent Balls claiming that there wasn't any structural deficit anyway - do you agree with him?
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Old 28-10-2012, 01:08
thms
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i liked ros altmann's observant contribution.. invited to comment by andrew neil she tells ed balls it's because he is being quoted as saying 'i don't think' when he should have said 'i didn't think'...
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